FICIL

AmCham, as an Associate member of the Foreign Investors' Council in Latvia (FICIL), is invited to delegate its members to take part in the working groups aiming at proposing constructive recommendations to the government on a variety of issues.

FICIL is a business organization made up of the largest foreign investors in Latvia and 13 chambers of commerce. FICIL's mission is to improve the business environment and grow foreign investments in Latvia through an active dialogue with the government. Since 1999 FICIL meets annually with the Latvian government at a High Council meeting, providing expertise and recommendations on Latvia's economic development.

As a member of FICIL, AmCham invites its members to participate or continue taking part in the following working groups of FICIL:

Education
Leader: Claudio Rivera (Riga Business School)
Next meeting: March 6 at 9:00 at FICIL office Kr. Barona 13/15-20
The work group deals with issues related to education, especially higher education. The work group has been actively advocating for improvements of the governance of Latvian universities to ensure quality of higher education. Other work group priorities are related with fragmentation of recourses in higher education, matching labour market demand and supply of education system. The work group has been vocal addressing principles of individualisation, cooperation, and internationalization of higher education.

Food and Drink Industry
Leader: Nele Normak (Coca-Cola)
It is planned that the work group will cover topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, review planed policy initiatives regarding sweeteners, look at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction.

Economic and Financial Crime issues
Leader: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB), Andris Lazdiņš (Ellex Klavins)
The work group is working on recommendation for Latvian government to improve legal acts so that they go in line with principles of justice, rule of law and transparency. One of the work group's important tasks among the others is to address the injustice of fraudulent abuse of insolvency system.

Labour Force Issues
Leaders: Irina Kostina (Ellex Klavins) 
The work group is gathering experiences of employees' sick leaves and researching the regulations on SLC issuance in other Baltic states. The group is cooperating with the Ministry of Health to address this issue, as well as focusing on labour force shortage, productivity and migration.

Transport issues 
Leaders: Arnis Kākulis (AECOM)
The work group deals with issues related to transportation policy and logistics issues. The work group has been vocal in raising topics related with transparency of logistics policy and railway tariffs.

Energy and Waste Management
Leader: Dace Cīrule (Deloitte)
The work group's agenda are timely and rationale development of the deposit system, effective implementation of the National Energy and Climate Plan, the European Green Deal, OIK and modernisation of recycling of waste and polygons.

Digitalization 
Leader: Renārs Rūsis (Swedbank)
The work group is continuing to draft recommendations. The group is summarising recommendations on establishing a digital economy which requires joint efforts by businesses and the Government to have a clear vision of Latvia as a digital society, design appropriate policies, establish the role of a state CIO and draft a law on E-governance.

Construction work group
Leader: Ilze Kramiņa and Zanda Zaļuma (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns) 
The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.

Healthcare issues work group
Leader: Daina Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithKline)
Given that the healthcare system is an important topic for every entrepreneur, FICIL has established the Healthcare issues work group. The Healthcarre issues work group is looking at Healthcare Financing Law adopted in the end of last year.

Investment Protection and Court Efficiency
Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)
The work group held a meeting recently to discuss the necessary improvements concerning the quality of legislation, the need for specialised commercial court and the International Monetary Fund's report on the progress of insolvency proceedings. 

Intellectual Property Protection work group
Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa (COBALT)
Intellectual property protection work group reviews legislation related to intellectual property rights and gives its recommendation to the Latvian government for improvement of legal acts.

Tax Policy and Administration work group

Leaders: Vita Sakne (PwC), Aija Kļavinska (Deloitte), Baiba Strupiša (ILCC)
Tax work group is working on issues related to tax administration and policy. The work group is closely following developments in Latvia's tax system and tax administration, and actively coming up with proposals for the State Reveneu Service on how to improve the business environment and investment climate through changes and improvements in tax system and/or administration. Predictable tax policy for business, tax administration and fight against shadow economy are top priorities for the work group.

FICIL established an ad hoc group on the draft Accounting Law to provide recommendations for developing a modern law that corresponds with developments of the business environment and digitalisation.

If you are interested in taking part in FICIL work groups, please sign up here

(Information last updated on February 28, 2020)

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Mantautas Paskevicius, Country Manager of Strategic Staffing Solutions International

AmCham is an invaluable resource that keeps us up to date with business issues and opportunities.

Mantautas Paskevicius, Country Manager of Strategic Staffing Solutions International